Sticking the Landing

What do you do with yourself when coffee isn’t working? This is a question I have found myself asking myself all morning long. I even blasted some Led Zeppelin, but that has not seemed to help. Did you know forty years ago today, Led Zeppelin released that album with no real title- the one that had “Stairway to Heaven” on it? I love learning fun facts on the way to work.

The reason I’m so tired is that this past weekend was a doozy. It was Special Olympics’ Fall Festival, an event held at Villanova University with over 1,000 athletes, 350 coaches and a little over 4,000 volunteers. Of the events I run for Special Olympics, it could be most easily categorized as the Big One. It was the event that people around these parts have been asking me about since my first day working here. The event had become almost mythological to me, like a dinosaur everyone else here had seen, but was now my job to tame, even though I myself hadn’t seen it. I would tame a dinosaur by tying it’s legs together when it wasn’t looking.

Three cups of coffee a day and comfortable sneakers were the keys to success this past weekend, with the hidden gem being the afternoon Red Eyes I had on both Friday and Saturday- a little something extra to boost me through and get me to the evening’s events- Friday being the Opening Ceremonies and Saturday being the Victory Dance. Whoever was the first people to dump a shot of espresso into a cup of a coffee is a genius…and probably dead now because really, if that idea came to you, you probably have come up with a lot of other seemingly questionable ideas that are a lot worse for you. Because really, super caffeine added to regular caffeine- I love it, but it’s really a terrible idea. It’s like stuffed crust pizza- just unnecessary, but also just awesome.

The event went really well and reinforced why I like working events. They are just so simple when it all comes down to it. You plan hard, then you work hard, then you crash hard and then when it’s all over, you are ready to do it all again. When I say it’s simple, I don’t mean the work itself is simple. It’s the idea of the job that’s simple because of the way it appeals to basic human nature. I think that deep down, we all want a job where we are given a task to do, a timeline to do it in and then a straight forward way to determine if we were successful. As I get older, I’m becoming more and more of a bottom-line kind of dude- I am not much for semantics and frills. I am all about bullet points and nothing about paragraphs. Events are full of bullet points- bullet points make events successful, in my opinion. If I didn’t feel the need to ramble a bit, this entire blog entry would be in bullet points. When it all comes down to it, how many of us really have so much to say that we need more than a sentence or two to say it?

Another great thing about events are the unique situations you find yourself in and the interesting people you meet along the way. I got hip to this when I was with the crazy ninjas at MSI. You just find yourself asking questions you wouldn’t normally ask someone and that’s fun as shit to do. Planning events forces you to make the random normal and hot damn, once you get past the oddity of it all it sure is a good time. It’s a frustrating time, but that makes it all the more worth it. Easy isn’t worth it, hard is. I really believe that we should earn our happiness- it shouldn’t be given to us. It doesn’t even matter what that happiness may be. You got to work for it. You need to earn it.

One thing I feel I’ve earned is sleep and it’s going to happen eventually. But first, I got to get through this Slow Motion Tuesday. I’ll make it through with the help of tunes- so far today I’ve listened to Led Zeppelin, Coldplay and now the Avett Brothers, a delicious peanut butter & jelly sandwich, and then a warm rendezvous with my super awesome future wife at Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse for Future Mother-in-Law’s birthday. Barb at MSI would preach the importance of a good re-entry once an event was over and that’s where I’m at now. I might not perfectly stick the landing, but I’ll get close and at this point, that’s good enough.

Ryno, out.

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